Friday, August 9, 2019

The seductive mirage of "We have to do something!"

There is an excellent debate in the comments at Comrade Misfit's place, about what do to about mass shootings.  I particularly like her proposal to restrict the first amendment (it's at least trying to address the "copy cat" issue).

But as enjoyable as the debate is (it's intelligent and respectful; that's quite a salon she hosts over there), the whole premise is flawed.  There's nothing that you can do to stop mass shootings.  That's a pessimistic premise, but it's true.  The United States isn't the top of the list for mass shootings, not even close.  The top five countries for mass shootings all have much more restrictive gun control laws that are on the books here.

It's a seductive mirage, the idea that smart people implementing smart policy can eliminate (or even reduce) horrible events.  But unless everyone else in the world is a dummy - and the people proposing "solutions" are the only smart people around - then why would anyone think that the new proposals will work where everything has failed before?  The failures have been global in scope, across different societies.  The failures have been total.

Or maybe Mitch McConnell is an actual Philosopher King and his nifty new gun control proposals (due out next month, we're told) are just the tick to World Peace.  That would sure be something.

But maybe he's just a run of the mill idiot, like most of the folks proposing things that have been tried in various forms around the world, and come up empty time and time again.  Maybe the world is a lot more complex and unpredictable, maybe human psyche is a deep - and sometimes dark - well of unknowable.  Maybe the smartest thing that we could do is to not do something stupid.  After all, a lot that seems intelligent is actually pretty stupid.

Nah.  Cocaine Mitch is on it.  The future's so bright, we have to wear shades.  All is for the best in the best of all possible policy proposals.


Comrade Misfit said...

Thanks for the link. I do try to ride herd on the comments, not to control points of view, but to control decorum. I've no qualms about deleting those which cross the line (and the rules are posted),

CenterPuke88 said...

Question, would you object to opening the field to study? And I don’t mean only a study or two by carefully picked groups to get certain results, I mean a torrent of studies on all aspects of gun violence and its genesis/results. If we could understand better why these things happen, perhaps there is a way we can all be safer together. It might also pay-off as giving insight into fighting online radicalization, as that certainly seems a factor here.

The Neon Madman said...

Myself, I am not very optimistic. To the public in mass, facts can (and often are) secondary to emotion. If we have another 2 or 3 mass murders with dozens of deaths in the near future, all bets are off. We'll be lucky to keep semi-autos.

Glen Filthie said...

Well I guess I was never decorous enough for that particular salon of earthbound misfits and nasty women ... so I will give it a pass, LOL.

The way I see it: roughly half your nation doesn’t want to play by the rules your Constitution is founded on. That is the crux of the issue. And, once the guns go and the crime rates soar... you can bet your bottom dollar the next assault will be on free speech and the first amendment. After all, when the muzzies chimped out and murdered those people in Benghazi - it was all because of some obscure YouTuber who made a deplorable vid that inflamed the moslems. In Europe they are arresting people who make inappropriate remarks on Bookface.

Up here in Canada we are much more liberal than the US and we know the drill. Our bill of rights and constitution were found to be offensive to the it got amended. Then the feminists and queers had a run at it and wiped their arses with it. Then the national anthem had to go because it was offensive too. Then the muzzies wanted to throw it out altogether and run Sharia law “parallel” to Canadian law. I dunno what our national anthem is now and don’t care. My relationship with my country is purely transactional, and I have no patriotism whatsoever. Why should I? My countrymen are greedy fwench sicialist whores who take more from confederation than they ever put into it. They’ve flooded the nation with human trash from the third world - and they have no use for the laws this nation was founded on either. And of course, being white and male - my rights have to give way to those of queers, cat ladies, ethnic rage heads and other useless marginals and ethnics because reasons.

This is what happens when liberals have their way. Amend your constitution at your peril, Yanks. Look hard at the cretins that want to change your constitution. They not only want to change the law and nation... they want to change YOU.

Murphy(AZ) said...

It saddens me, but it is certainly not unexpected, to hear politicians of every stripe and at all levels, clamoring for "gun laws." After all, there are elections coming, and most of them are trying to protect their "phony-baloney jobs."

Party affiliation means nothing, but they all are saying the same thing: We need more laws to control (insert variation here.) Weapons bans, magazine limitations, age changes, bump stock bans, deeper background checks, ugly scary guns, and the dreaded Red Flag Rules. Every politician is calling for some one or combination of these.

If we limit the number of guns you can own, or the amount of ammunition you can buy, then everything will be all right. no nutjobs will go out and shoot up a supermarket, school, church, or corner newspaper stand ever again.

yeah, right.

You want to stop this crap? you never will, because crazy (and stupid,) will always be. But if we can stop, or drastically reduce the wall-to-wall news coverage, if we reduce the politicization of this insanity, these horrific murders will fade dramatically. It's not politicians doing the shooting, it's the not-so-crazies who just want someone to notice them.

And finally, allow armed citizens to go about their days carrying openly or concealed. Most of these mass-murderers would have kept on walking if they knew there were "good citizens and true" out there with the will and ability to put an end to their sorry plans. It's no fun if your targets can shoot back.

Ken said...

I respectfully submit that keeping the right to arms is a matter of will, not of luck.